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Infectious disease

Influenza virus


Mouse studies suggest antagonizing IL-12 or using vaccines that limit IL-12 production could help protect against influenza infection. In mice primed with dendritic cells presenting an influenza A virus nucleoprotein (NP) epitope (DC-NP), those boosted with an NP-expressing vaccinia virus had lower levels of IL-12 and higher numbers of respiratory, NP-specific memory CD8+ T cells than those boosted with NP-expressing Listeria monocytogenes (LM-NP). In a mouse model of influenza A virus infection, adding an anti-IL-12 antibody to the prime and LM-NP boost regimen increased the number of memory CD8+ T cells and decreased viral titer compared with adding IgG. Next steps could include finding additional cytokines that affect the formation of memory CD8+ T cells.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Johnson & Johnson market Stelara ustekinumab, a human mAb inhibiting IL-12 and IL-23, to treat psoriatic arthritis and have the drug in Phase III or earlier testing for other autoimmune indications.

SciBX 7(1); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.22
Published online Jan. 9, 2014

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Slütter, B. et al. Immunity; published online Nov. 14, 2013;
Contact: John T. Harty, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine,
Iowa City, Iowa